The United States slapped sanctions on Venezuela's military counter-intelligence agency on Thursday July 11th accusing it of torturing and murdering detainees.
The new sanctions freeze any US-based assets of the country's General Directorate of Military Counter-intelligence, according to the US Treasury Department.
The sanctions come less than a week after the US imposed sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro's son, in a bid to force the Venezuelan leader from power.
The move was triggered by the death in custody of a navy captain who was allegedly tortured, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
"The politically motivated arrest and tragic death of Captain Rafael Acosta was unwarranted and unacceptable,” Mnuchin said.
The captain was arrested in June on charges of plotting to assassinate Maduro. He died in custody eight days later, and Venezuela's attorney general said that two officials from the counter-intelligence agency were charged with homicide.
The Treasury said that when Acosta appeared in court after his arrest, "he showed signs of physical abuse, including being in a wheelchair, and he was unable to speak."